Absentee voting not finalised
ABSENTEE VOTING and citizenship for third-generation Barbadians are among proposals “actively” being considered by the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
Provisions for casting absentee ballots will not be in place for the upcoming general election constitutionally due in 2018, but Minister of International Business Donville Inniss made the two disclosures to patrons at the annual Independence gala hosted by the Coalition for the Barbados Association of Central Florida at Rosen Central Hotel in Orlando on Saturday night.
He said the proposals had not been “totally” finalised, but both suggestions were met with applause from members of the audience.
Inniss said the matter of casting overseas ballots was the more complex of the two.
“It is a very costly exercise that means we certainly have to be able to verify a lot of information.
“. . . It is a matter that is actively being considered because we certainly want the diaspora to be . . . a lot more involved in what is happening in Barbados,” he added.
On the proposal to offer citizenship to third-generation Barbadians living abroad, the minister said it was important to the growth of the economy.
“We cannot, as a small island, say that we want to grow the economy and society, we want to engage the diaspora a lot more, and only say that those who are born to Barbadian mothers or fathers, or whose mothers and fathers are born to Barbadians, can attain citizenship. We know that in order to ensure that the family lines continue and the bonds continue to Barbados, you need to extend it a bit further.”
Inniss, who lived and worked in the area for several years, told patrons the contributions made to Barbados by the various Bajan organisations and people living in the diaspora over the years had not gone unnoticed.
He also told them they had a right to state their views on what was going on in the country.
He also brought the Barbadians up to speed on what had been going on in the country, especially with was “forced” to make the state of the economy. some “firm decisions”
He said Government that had not been the “most palatable but were designed to stave off further abrupt deterioration in the Barbados economy and society. (YB)